Sugar beet breeder KWS and the joint Seed Working Group of British Sugar and NFU Sugar have reached an agreement that extends the seed offering to growers.
The agreement means growers can for the first time choose between seed that is processed and pelleted by the breeder or by Germains Seed Technology.
Ben Bishop, KWS sugar beet country manager for the UK, described the agreement as ‘historic’ as it was the first-time growers had a genuine choice in pelleting technologies.
“Thousands of hectares of KWS own-brand seed have been purchased and grown by a limited number of farms over the past two seasons and we are pleased that this choice will now be extended to all growers for drilling in Spring 2020. Crucially, growers will be able to express their preference for KWS’ seed technology on their seed order form,” he says.
“This choice will support the competitiveness of sugar beet production in the UK and bring benefits to the grower including full breeder accountability for the seed once it is on farm and the opportunity to purchase seed for re-drilling for any reason at 50% of the invoice price. All KWS-processed seed will come with Early Plant Development (EPD), our processing and priming technology already enjoyed by farmers across continental Europe,” he adds.
Several years of trials overseen by the BBRO have shown that the KWS pelleting process known as EPD2.0 and the first-generation process, EPD, perform strongly in the UK.